RAYNET members were placed on standby for nine days by North Yorkshire Police to assist with a planned mass evacuation when the RAF began to excavate a Second World War bomber crash site.

On August 18, 2009, more than 1,000 people were evacuated from around the village of Ebberston, east of Pickering, while an RAF bomb disposal team detonated a bomb found in the wreckage of a Whitley bomber while it was being excavated by aircraft enthusiasts.

When a geophysical survey of the crash site revealed 56 areas which required further examination. RAYNET was contacted by the Police Emergency Planning Officer and asked to put a team on standby to provide communications if a further evacuation became necessary.

North Yorkshire Police were operating in a poor communications area for their Airwave radios and RAYNET was asked to provide radio support if it became necessary for the emergency services to clear homes and businesses within a 2.5k radius of the crash site.

RAYNET attended a Gold Command meeting at North Yorkshire Police headquarters which was told that the bomber had turned back from a raid on Germany in October, 1940, after being damaged by enemy flak.

Its crew were unable to find their base in North Yorkshire and bailed out before the Whitley crashed. Records showed it was loaded with one 500lb bomb, four 250lb bombs and two cases of incendiaries. It was not known how many bombs were on board when it crashed.

An RAF explosives ordnance team from RAF Wittering began excavating sites revealed by the geophysical survey on Sept 1 and 12 RAYNET members from North Yorkshire, Cleveland and West Yorkshire were placed on standby.

The RAF search continued throughout the week, but RAYNET was stood down when the RAF completed their excavation of the site without finding any more bombs.